I’ve long championed a simple truth “all business is personal.” That’s why I believe customer experience is as much about relationship building as it is about product and transactional excellence.
A recent study conducted by Reachable powerfully demonstrates the criticality of relationship building when it comes to gaining access to make sales. Here’s the big payoff finding of the research:
“Personal connections can increase the likelihood of salespeople receiving a call back five-fold and improve sales productivity by more than 240%”
Now let’s dive into how that conclusion was drawn….
The data from the Reachable report shows that for every 1000 outbound calls a person makes only 345 are returned if the caller doesn’t have a relationship with the call recipient. If, however, you have built any type of connection (e.g. a recommendation from someone your recipient knows) you are 5 times more likely to receive a return call. If you actually have a PERSONAL relationship (you have rapport, know them directly, engage them at a level beyond transactional sales) you are 11 times more likely to receive a return call.
Not only do personal relationships drive return calls but they also convert those return calls into sales.
|For Every 1,000 Calls Made, 243% More Deals Closed With Connection|
|No Personal Connection||With Personal Connection|
|Deals (@20% closing)||14||34|
|Source: Reachable, June 2012|
|You might want to check out this interesting infographic on the Reachable study.|
So what are the implications of this study for you and your customer experience? It seems like “cold call/sales-focused approaches” should be replaced by an interpersonal relationship based model. When that shift authentically occurs, sales will follow!